Posts

Dave Murray

Your Brand is Your Freedom!

Seriously, your brand is your freedom!

Yes, I’m completely exploiting this time of year. Yes, I’m totally shameless. And yes, I believe every word in this post.

We love doing what we do, in part, because it gives gutsy business owners and entrepreneurs a shot at better lives – side note: we say “a shot” because, after we help create the brand and advise them, it’s up to the entrepreneurs / business owners to follow through – Of course, what they do with that shot is entirely up to them. Maybe they’d simply retire to Fiji. Maybe they’d just like to relax and take more time for their friends and family. Or, maybe they’re like me, and would love to be able to take everybody on a spontaneous party trip to Italy. And maybe get on a gondola. Because I like typing “gondola.”

Of course, to do any of that, you need to be able to free up some time. And you can’t do that if you’re constantly the technician in the trenches, hoping for that next check to show up so you can pay rent, simply because you neglected your brand.

If you’ve been reading my blog posts for a while, you know the huge importance we place on branding and brand strategy. It really is more important than your product or service. And I promise you, I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t know, with 100% certainty, that it would drastically improve your life. It is the single, most important thing you can do for your business. Did I lay that on thick enough for ya? I hope so, because it’s the truth.

That typed, branding and brand strategy alone aren’t going to free you up for that African safari you’ve always wanted to take.

Do these three things to create your freedom!

Branding and Brand Strategy: this creates a consistent message and look that your clients and potential clients can get behind – because it’s always stuck in their brains!

Implementing Systems and Processes: I know, I know, that sounds horrendously lame. If, however, you want your business to scale to unimaginable heights, you need to set it up so other people can make it grow without your direct involvement. Your brand is your most important asset, but systems and processes make that asset work for you.

Public Relations, Marketing, and Advertising: if you want to haul ass on your road to freedom, you need to invest some time and money into getting your business out there! Get someone to interview you, set up speaking engagements, hire people who know about marketing and advertising, do the stuff that most “small” business owners and entrepreneurs won’t do because they think it’s a waste of money. Trust me, when your brand is set in stone, and your systems and processes are in place, no matter what your product or service is, you are in the marketing business!

We’ve used this quote before, but it bears repeating, ““Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.” That quote comes from Peter Drucker, the granddad of business consulting. And it’s impossible to overstate its importance.

And now, for the conclusion you’ve been waiting for!

Gutsy entrepreneurs and business owners of the world, in order to create ultimate freedom, you must have a set brand, some set systems and processes, and a killer p.r. / marketing / advertising machine.

Of course, before you can implement any systems and processes, or get to marketing, you need to have your brand in place.

And that’s why I say your brand is your freedom.

If you have any questions about what branding and brand strategy can do for you, click Services. Other questions might be answered in our FAQ. And if that still doesn’t cut it, send us an email by clicking Contact.

I hope all of you in the United States had a fantastic Fourth of July. And to the rest of the world, I hope you did something extra gutsy on your seemingly normal Saturday.

As always, stay gutsy gang!

Sources

The Tingley Advantage – The Importance of Processes
Forbes – Jack Trout on Marketing

Dave Murray

3 Branding Essentials for Your Business!

I’ve been wanting to write this branding article for quite some time, simply because it’s so important

First, because I get this question a lot: what’s the difference between marketing, branding, and advertising? Your brand is the why, the who, and of the look…the foundation of your business, so branding is strategically building that foundation. Marketing is figuring out the best ways to get that foundation in front of your target market. And advertising is actually getting that foundation in front of your target market. So obviously, it makes about as much sense to advertise without a brand as it does to have a house party without a house. Sure, some of your buddies will pull up some lawn chairs, but most of your friends are going to a real shindig.

Now, I’m gonna type about three of the most important things when it comes to your brand: your “why,” your focus, and your differences.

Let’s start with the “why.”

There are two reasons for a solid “why”:

1. It creates the emotional connection your clients and potential clients have with your business.
2. If your “why” is strong enough, you’ll know you have the passion and drive to power through the ups and downs of early entrepreneurship.

My “why” is the reason Mayniax Branding exists. We’re in it, truly, to give gutsy business owners and entrepreneurs a shot at better lives. And, of course, we brand the hell out of their businesses to make that happen. People who’ve been keeping up with my blog know our “why,” so here’s a recap for the newbies:

For years, my parents ran a cleaning business in Jackson, MI. Most of their business was through word-of-mouth, and it was feast or famine. My sister and I were enrolled in private schools, however, and never knew just how bad it could be. They always made sure we were taken care of, many times at their own expense. It was my great dream to retire them, myself. When dad died, so did that dream. As silly as it sounds, I regret not having the knowledge then that we have, now. I know branding would have gone a long way toward making their business successful. In the years since, we’ve seen the same thing happen to those we’ve come to know as friends. Now, I’m over it. Now, helping business owners is personal.

A word of caution: if your “why” is because you like money or simply because you know how to do something, you’d better look for another line of work. While nothing’s absolute, those whys rarely lead to massive success. And, if you’re reading this, I’m gonna go ahead and assume you’re into that whole “massive success” thing.

Now, let’s talk focus.

Focus is huge, and there are three areas we talk about when it comes to it:

1. Your product or service – singular for a reason.
2. Your target market – also singular.
3. Your internal processes. We don’t do a lot with those, but we can’t overstate their importance.

I’ve already typed about the importance of focus in a few blogs – Why Diluting Your Brand is Bad, LEGO: The Rise and Fall. And Rise, and The Dangers of Bad Brand Strategy. and The reason for it is simple: you want to be number one in the minds of your clients and potential clients. If you have too many products, that won’t happen. As an example, Mayniax Branding is a branding company. If we decided to offer advertising, marketing, S.E.O., and P.R., as well, what would you think of us as? The answer is, you wouldn’t. We’d be offering too much for any of it to stick in your head. And at that point, we’re not an option, because you wouldn’t even think of us. The right way to go about that scenario, would be to start a new brand for each individual service.

Your target market should be just as focused, because if you’re targeting everybody, then you’re targeting nobody. This is another reason why we suggest one brand per product or service: if you have one product, it’s much easier to go after one target market. As an entrepreneur / business owner, when you go after one target market, things become so much simpler for you, as well. How many meetings have you been in where you have to pick who to target with the current ad? How many where someone’s said, “Yeah, but do we want to leave out this other demographic?” Keep it simple on your target market, and keep it simple on yourself! That way, you can free your brain space up for far more important things. Like brand strategy.

Time for a little differentiation.

I shouldn’t have to point out the importance of differentiation, but while everyone says they understand how huge it is, few people really market it. Researching your competition will tell you everything you need to now about how your company is, or can be, different. But that’s not where that ends. Differentiation needs to be communicated through marketing materials! If you and another company sell the same shoes online, but they ship from one facility and you ship from six – let your target market know. “On average, we’re three days faster on shipping, which gives your little athlete more time to break in their shoes for the big race!”

To summarize: tell people about your “why,” go for one target market, and make sure your differences show up in your marketing materials.

And make sure you have a house before your invite people to your house party.

Stay gutsy!